HST is coming, but do business owners have a good understanding of
implications?

TORONTO, April 19 /CNW/ - The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is coming soon. But according to research conducted in late March 2010 for ING DIRECT by Angus Reid Opinion Poll:

    
    -   Only 44% of business owners fully understand the implications. That
        means more than half of business owners are unclear or may think the
        HST won't apply to their business.

    -   Approximately half of the business owners surveyed (47%) think the
        HST will have a negative impact on their business.

    -   Another one-third (37%) think there won't be any change in their
        business.

    -   Only one in twenty (6%) think HST will have a positive impact on
        their business; and 10% 'don't know'.
    

ING DIRECT has just launched a helpful microsite: HST 101 for Business (ingdirect.ca/HST101), following a free seminar they recently held on HST for their business clients. The microsite includes a video and presentation deck of the seminar featuring guest speaker Danny Cisterna, Partner and Indirect Tax Expert of Deloitte & Touche, and also includes:

    
    -   10 Things to Know about the HST
    -   HST Savings Tips
    -   Key Dates
    -   HST-Ready Checklist
    -   and links to other web Resources to help business owners better
        understand the HST and its impact.
    

"We encourage all Canadians to save their money so being in the know about new taxes and their implications is important," says Peter Aceto, President & CEO of ING DIRECT. "We also think it's only fair that business owners, like all Canadians with savings accounts, earn high interest and not pay fees on their savings."

The Angus Reid Public Opinion poll found that most businesses in Canada do not earn any interest on their cash reserves, while they pay high fees that they think are unfair:

    
    -   62% do not earn any interest at all; another 11% are unsure if
        they do
    -   53% pay $10 or more per month in fees; 13% pay $30 or more per month
    -   43% think fees are not fair; 33% think fees are moderately fair
    

ING DIRECT has more ways for businesses to save money with the Business Investment Savings Account that pays the highest interest of any Canadian bank with no minimum balances and no fees (source: CANNEX* as of April 19, 2010), as well as Business GICs at great rates. Both Business Investment Savings Accounts and Business GICs are available in Canadian or U.S. dollars.

Simple, accessible, safe and secure, ING DIRECT also offers mobile banking for business and personal accounts, with a mobile website (m.ingdirect.ca) and apps for both the iPhone(R) and BlackBerry(R), the only bank in Canada to offer apps for both devices.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY & SUMMARY OF RESULTS

Angus Reid Public Opinion:

Angus Reid Public Opinion, a practice of Vision Critical, conducted an online survey among 500 randomly selected Canadian adults who are self-employed, own their own business or have a side business where they currently earn income, and are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 4.4%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a representative sample. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

    
    Do you understand how HST will apply to your business?

        Yes, I fully understand       44%
        I somewhat understand         31%
        I do not understand           15%
        Won't apply to my business    10%

    How do you think HST will impact your business?

        Negatively                    47%
        Positively                     6%
        No change                     37%
        Don't know                    10%

    Do you earn any interest on your business cash reserves?

        Yes                           27%
        No                            62%
        Not sure                      11%

    On average, what do you spend on business banking fees per month
    (including monthly fees, transaction fees, etc)?

        Under $10                     29%
        Between $10-$19               28%
        Between $20 $29               14%
        More than $30                 13%
        Don't pay fees                16%

    How fair do you think the business banking fees you currently pay are?

        Very fair                     20%
        Moderately fair               33%
        Not very fair                 23%
        Not at all fair               20%
        Don't know                     4%
    

About ING DIRECT

ING DIRECT is Canada's leading direct bank with over 1.6 million Clients and more than $29 billion in total assets. ING DIRECT gives the power of saving to all Canadians by offering high-value, simple products such as high interest savings accounts with no fees or service charges, and low rates on mortgages. Low cost, index based mutual funds are sold through ING Direct Funds Limited. ING DIRECT has been operating in Canada since 1997, and paid more than $4 billion in interest to Clients. ING DIRECT is open for banking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at ingdirect.ca, on mobile devices at m.ingdirect.ca or by calling 1-800 ING DIRECT (1-800-464-3473).

*About CANNEX

CANNEX Financial Exchanges Limited is a privately held Canadian company that has provided data and information services to the financial services industries in Canada since 1983 and the United States since 1996. CANNEX is an independent third party and is not licensed to sell financial products. None of its shareholders, directors or employees are licensed to sell financial products. No financial institution or broker/agent organization owns or controls any shares of CANNEX.

iPhone(R) is a registered trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Apple Inc. is not a sponsor or participant of ING DIRECT mobile banking.

BlackBerry(R) is a registered trademark of Research in Motion Limited and registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. Used under license from Research in Motion Limited. Research in Motion is not a sponsor or participant of ING DIRECT mobile banking.

SOURCE Tangerine

For further information: For further information: Media Relations Contacts: Joanne Ingrassia, (416) 903-0101 or jingrassia@ingdirect.ca; Lynnette Visaya, (416) 758-5544 or lvisaya@ingdirect.ca


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